THE DAYS OF frustratingly scouring the internet for information on how and where to receive a Covid-19 vaccine can now be laid to rest. The popular fitness and wellness app ClassPass, which has partnerships with more than 30,000 gyms, studios and spas nationwide, including hundreds in Houston, has just announced that its members can explore vaccination options through its interface.
Houston is the latest city to receive access to this feature, which has already been rolled out in cities like Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Miami, Washington, D.C. and New York. While it is not possible to directly book appointments with vaccination centers through the app itself, information gleaned from the app — like how to schedule an appointment with the clinics and vaccination sites closest to users' locations — will undoubtedly be valuable in helping to further unshroud a process that has been confusing and difficult to navigate for many.
"The process of finding a vaccination appointment can be challenging, and many people don't know where to start," said Vin Gupta, a critical care pulmonologist, health policy expert and NBC News analyst. "I was thrilled to hear that ClassPass, a high-touch app that has already trained people how to search for vital health information, is leveraging their platform to make it easier to identify vaccine sites and secure appointments. Anything that can address this information gap is critical in getting more people vaccinated."
This is not the first time that the app, which worked throughout the pandemic to provide users with Covid-specific safety and cleanliness policies of all participating gyms, has employed their technology for social and health-related causes. During the last two presidential election cycles, the app helped voters find accurate information on where to register and cast their ballots. And over the last year, ClassPass has used its platform to aggregate local events and panels on racial justice.
"We are in a global health crisis and every company should be helping to support relief and vaccination efforts however they can," says Jeff Bladt, a VP at ClassPass. "We have deep knowledge of how to help people find accurate and up-to-date information on local businesses after routing millions of users to fitness and wellness locations across 30 countries."